Kentucky Unemployment Benefit Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for unemployment benefits in Kentucky, you must meet the following requirements:

Base Period Earnings

  • You must have worked in Kentucky during the past 12 months (or longer, in some cases).
  • Your total wages during that time must be equal to or greater than 1.5 times the state’s average weekly wage. For 2023, the average weekly wage is $634.03.
  • You must have earned at least $1,500 in wages during each of two of the four calendar quarters of your base period.

Unemployment Through No Fault of Your Own

  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. This means that you were not fired for misconduct or for violating company policies.
  • You may be eligible for benefits if you quit your job for good cause attributable to the employment. For example, if you quit because you were being harassed or discriminated against, you may be eligible for benefits.

Ability, Availability, and Actively Seeking Work

  • You must be able to work and available for work each week. This means that you must be physically and mentally able to work, and you must not be taking any voluntary leave from work.
  • You must be actively seeking work each week. This means that you must be making at least five job search activities per week. Job search activities can include applying for jobs, attending job interviews, and networking with people in your field.

Registration for Work

  • You must register for work with the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training (OET). You can do this online or by phone.
  • You must report your job search activities to OET each week. You can do this online, by phone, or in person.

Benefit Amount

  • The amount of benefits you receive will depend on your average weekly wage during your base period. For 2023, the maximum weekly benefit amount is $512.
  • You will receive benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks.

Filing Your Claim

  • You must file your claim for benefits within 14 days of becoming unemployed. You can file your claim online or by phone.
  • You will be required to provide your name, address, contact information, Social Security number, and wage information.
  • You will also be asked to provide a reason for your unemployment.

Appealing Your Claim

  • If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal. You must file your appeal within 10 days of the denial.
  • You will be given a hearing before an administrative law judge. The judge will review your case and make a decision on whether or not you are eligible for benefits.

Additional Resources

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